How was it possible that otherwise sane men would want to kill Jesus? Think about it. He was a quiet man. He was plainly a kind man. He was an engaging teacher and faithful to the scriptures. More important, he was doing miracles.—he was healing people left and right, and such healings as no one had ever seen. And yet, immediately after some of these healings, they wanted him dead. I submit to you that this is strange behavior.
We know a lot of it had to do with jealousy. The religious establishment felt threatened by Jesus. The establishment always feels threatened by someone outside the establishment who is successful. Even Jesus’ own disciples felt threatened by a man successfully casting out demons in Jesus name. They wanted him stopped. It is just human nature, I suppose. But the establishment would not have admitted they were jealous. What was their reason?
And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father works still, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
So the establishment had two reasons for getting rid of Jesus: breaking the Sabbath, by their definition, and blasphemy—making himself equal with God. In response to their objections, Jesus gave a relatively long response. (I say relatively. It is only 108 words.) It is an important statement, because it addresses the relationship between Jesus and the Father. It is Jesus’ first major
doctrinal statement as well. I touches on the nature of God, the resurrection and the fact that there are at least two resurrections, the judgement, and the connection between Jesus and Moses. All this in 108 words. Let’s read it.